Thursday, August 27, 2015

Some tasty-sound dessert recipes from Arm & Hammer, circa 1935

"Good things to Eat" is a 3¼-inch-wide, staplebound, 32-page booklet published in 1935 by Church & Dwight Co., makers of Arm & Hammer baking soda.

The booklet suggests that the recipes can be made with either Arm & Hammer or Cow Brand baking soda. All of the recipes were tested and approved by Martha Lee Anderson.

In a short preface, Anderson writes:
"Do you know the secret of Chocolate Cake, rich and delicate in flavor, soft and silky in texture? Do you know the secret of Gingerbread that has the penetrating aroma, the true, deep, rich, golden color?

"If you know these things, you know Baking Soda and the part it plays in making baking day a pleasure with success assured."
Here are a couple of those secret recipes from the booklet:

Tomato Juice Cakes
  • 2¼ cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon Arm & Hammer or Cow Brand Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ cup butter, or other shortening
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup raisins, cut once
  • ½ cup nuts, coarsely cut
  • 1 cup tomato juice
Sift flour once, measure, add baking soda, salt and spices and sift together three times. Work butter with spoon until creamy. Add sugar gradually, beating after each addition until light and fluffy. Add eggs. Add raisins and nuts. Add flour alternately with tomato juice, a small amount at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Turn into greased cup cake tins and bake in a moderate oven (375° F.) 25 minutes or bake in loaf pan (6" x 10") at 350° F, for 45 minutes. Frost with Confectioners Frosting.

Sour Cream Devil's Food
  • 2 cups sifted pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon Arm & Hammer or Cow Brand Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy sour cream
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 3 squares (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift flour once, measure, add baking soda and salt, and sift together three times. Beat sugar gradually into sour cream. Add egg. Add chocolate. Blend well. Add flour alternately with milk, a small amount at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add vanilla. Turn into two greased 9 inch layer pans. Bake in moderate over (325° F.) for 25 minutes. Frost with Boiled Frosting.

(Boiled frosting, by the way, consists of sugar, water, egg whites and vanilla.)

Ephemera for Lunch #15:
De Luna Motor Hotel in Pensacola

The vital stats, from the back of the card:

1801 West Cervantes U.S. Highway 90 & 98
Pensacola, Florida
Heated Swimming Pool. 52 Rooms with Telephones, Air-Conditioning, Free TV and Hi-Fi, Ceramic tiled Baths with Tub or Shower, Wall-to-Wall Carpeting. Children's Playground, Breakfast in Rooms, Restaurant across the street.
Mrs. Gladys L. Workman
Phone HEmlock 3-4686

Here's a link to a different postcard, which shows off some additional angles of the hotel.

The De Luna, with its wall-to-wall-carpeted rooms, is no longer around. At some later point, a Scottish Inn Motel was located at that address. But I'm not sure that's there any more, either.

Gladys L. Workman is no longer with us. She lived from 1915 to 2000.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ephemera for Lunch #14:
Majestic Hotel-Baths in Hot Springs

The vital stats, from the back of the card:

"Queen of Resort Hotels," featuring the World-Famous Whirlpool Thermal Baths, with guests going direct from rooms to Bathhouse in robe and slippers ... 400 air-conditioned rooms, including kitchenette, new Lanai Tower, and poolside Lanai Suites connecting with Hotel. Year 'round temperature-controlled pool, with separate pool for the kiddies. European Plan, Dining Room, Luncheonette, Dutch Treat Grill, etc.

There is a wealth of information online about the storied Majestic Hotel, which was in operation from 1882 through 2006. According to The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, "for more than a century, the five-acre complex anchored the intersection of the main thoroughfares, Park and Central avenues, at the north end of Bathhouse Row in historic downtown Hot Springs."

The hotel was a prime destination, hosting actors, sports stars and mobsters. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox went there for spring training. It saw numerous renovations and additions over the decades, including the Lanai Tower spotlighted on this postcard.

In February 2014, the abandoned hotel was gutted by a fire. Then, just last month, the Hot Springs Board of Directors voted to purchase the hotel complex from Park Residences Development LLC for $680,000, according to ArkansasOnline. The finalization of the sale, however, remains in limbo.

For more history of this hotel and a lot of great photos, check out these links:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ephemera for Lunch #13:
John Penn Motel in North Carolina

The vital stats, from the back of the card:

P.O. Box 1 — Dial 693-8176
Oxford, North Carolina
Modern, quiet, comfortable, air-conditioned units — Hot water heat — TV in rooms — Children's playground.
Restaurant & Service Station Adjacent
On U.S. Route 15 — One mile South of Oxford, N.C.

According to a North Carolina history blog: "The John Penn motel built in Oxford, NC in 1954 evoked Mt. Vernon with its white paint and cupola."

You can check out another vintage postcard of the John Penn Motel, with a better view of the building, on this Flickr page.

I found some obituaries indicating that people were still working at the John Penn Motel as late as the mid-1980s, but nothing firm regarding the motel's current status, if it even still stands.

John Penn, by the way, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence from North Carolina.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ephemera for Lunch #12:
War-Lou Motel in New Orleans

This week's theme of "Ephemera for Lunch" will be postcards featuring motels and hotels of the past. (As opposed to the future, I guess?) These come of the heels of the July 29 post featuring three American motels that are now just memories. Because there are always more vintage motel postcards to showcase.

The vital stats, from the back of the card:

34 beautiful units in the heart of New Orleans. Swimming pool and roomside parking — 4 minutes from the Vieux Carre — 100% air conditioned — T-V — phones — sightseeing tours — complimentary coffee.
2424 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans 19, Louisiana
Phone 523-3828

There is no longer a motel called the "War-Lou" in New Orleans. The address is now the location of the Capri Motel. The Capri is described in a 2014 review on TripAdvisor as a "Drug/Prostitution Den." The review further adds: "This hotel is close to downtown but in a shady area near the city jail. Bail Bonds stores, hookers, and drug addicts are the norm for this area and motel. The rooms are basic and rife with vile odors." So that's not a great review.

In 2012, according to The Times-Picayune, a woman was shot in the buttocks at the Capri Motel.

At this point, it's not clear if they still offer complimentary coffee.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

"A Farmland Fantasy" by Thomas Wells

I found this attractive piece of artwork by Thomas Wells on a sample sheet (about 8 inches wide) that was intended, I think, to show customers what illustrations were available for Constellation Line calendars back in the day. Here's the full text from the back:

by Thomas Wells

This Subject, in this size and numbered as indicated, is carried in the following SERIES of CALENDARS
Sterling Series ............ No. 1432
Regal Series ............... No. 1632

For other SERIES in which this subject is carried, please see back cover of Constellation Line Price List.
Please replace this Picture in Envelope "B"

And here's the information etched on the front of the illustration.

I also discovered that this illustration was used for a jigsaw puzzle produced by the Consolidated Paper Box Company (under the brand name Perfect Picture Puzzle) sometime between the mid 1930s and early 1960s.

Beyond that, I don't have much information. And I don't know if there was a connection between the Consolidated Paper Box Company and the Constellation Line.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Beachy cover of Life magazine from 85 years ago today

Before it became an iconic photojournalism magazine in 1936, Life was a weekly humor and general interest magazine from 1883 until 1936. This was its goal:
"We wish to have some fun in this paper.... We shall try to domesticate as much as possible of the casual cheerfulness that is drifting about in an unfriendly world.... We shall have something to say about religion, about politics, fashion, society, literature, the stage, the stock exchange, and the police station, and we will speak out what is in our mind as fairly, as truthfully, and as decently as we know how."
The August 22, 1930, cover of Life, shown above, is certainly fun. I love the myriad colors of the umbrellas and the way they pop out against the bright-yellow sand. The level of detail is tremendous, too.

The artist is Russell Patterson (1893-1977), who did numerous covers and illustrations for this early iteration of Life. Patterson became famous across many platforms — magazine illustrations, Hollywood costumes and set designs, cartoons — but was perhaps most influential for his style of drawing women and their outfits and accessories. His illustrations helped to affirm and even create fashion trends, especially that of the flapper.

You can browse other early Life covers — and there are many that are super-cool — at 2Neat Magazines.

Note: This is one of those rare ephemeral items that I post despite not actually having it in my possession at the time. It was just so cool that I wanted to share. I originally came across it on Pinterest.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ephemera for Lunch #11:
Sarsaparilla and some dogs

Let's finish this week with some animals used in advertising. The small text on the bottom of this dog-filled Victorian trade card states: "Take Hood's Sarsaparilla. 100 doses one dollar."

The back of the card is filled from top to bottom with Hood's long-winded advertising pitch. Here's an excerpt:
"100 Doses One Dollar can only be truthfully applied to Hood's Sarsaparilla, and is an unanswerable argument as to strength and economy. Hood's Sarsaparilla is made from Sarsaparilla, Yellow Dock, Wild Cherry, Dandelion, Juniper, Pipsissewa, Stillingia, Mandrake, and other selected roots, barks, and herbs in a combination and by a process peculiar to itself. We challenge any preparation to show a home appreciation so throughly vouched for."
That's followed by a series of testimonials in which customers and druggists claim that the product, produced out of Lowell, Massachusetts, could cure:
  • Serofula
  • Salt Rheum
  • Catarrh
  • Dyspepsia
  • Any blood disease
  • Scrofulous sores
  • Poor appetite
  • Bowels all out of order
  • Indigestion

Not surprisingly, Hood's Sarsaparilla has an entry on The Quack Doctor website. And, not surprisingly, there was an ingredient, not listed above, the likely spurred the medicine's popularity. An excerpt from The Quack Doctor:
"Analysis by the BMA [British Medical Association], reported in Secret Remedies: What they cost and what they contain, showed that the mixture contained only '2.0 parts of vegetable extract per 100 fluid parts.' Instead, its popularity might have been down to it being nearly 20% alcohol."